The first-round Women’s Singles match between the 32-year-old Bulgarian and her 19-year-old opponent (BWF home page) will be played alongside three others that kick-start the action at the 22nd edition of the World Championships, 9am local time. The other opening matches include the Men’s Singles clash between Adrian Dziolko (Poland) against Vladimir Malkov (Russia) and Mixed Doubles contests between Liao Min Chun/Chen Hsiao Huan (Chinese Taipei) versus Tarun Kona/Sikki Reddy (India) and Chee Tean Tan/Shevon Jemie Lai (Malaysia) versus Ronan Labar/Emilie Lefel (France).
Several close contests are expected in the opening rounds. While many seeds in all five categories have received opening round byes, others run into tough opponents. Local hope, Men’s Singles No.15 seed Tommy Sugiarto (right), runs into European Games champion Pablo Abian (Spain), while No.4 seed Kento Momota (Japan), expected to go far in the tournament, faces Germany’s Dieter Domke in an evening match. No.16 seed Rajiv Ouseph (England) will be wary of his first round opponent, Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, on an adjacent court. The final match on court 1 will feature Viktor Axelsen (Denmark) against Czech Republic’s Petr Koukal.
Other interesting first-round match-ups include Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Thailand) against Kirsty Gilmour (Scotland; below) in Women’s Singles; the all-European Mixed Doubles clash between Gaetan Mittelheisser/Audrey Fontaine (France) and Jorrit De Ruiter/Samantha Barning (Netherlands) and the Canada-US duel between Toby Ng/Alex Bruce and Phillip Chew/Jamie Subandhi.
Stars in action on the second day include five-time Men’s Singles World champion Lin Dan (China), his close rival Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia), defending Women’s Singles champion Carolina Marin (Spain) and two-time runner-up Li Xuerui (China).
Olympic champion Li Xuerui starts her campaign with the opening match on Tuesday (9 am) in a second-round clash against either Nedelcheva or Honderich, while title-holder Marin takes the court in the afternoon against either Tee Jing Yi (Malaysia) or Jeanine Cicognini (Italy).
Local Women’s Singles hope Maria Febe Kusumastuti, seeded No.16, will be in action in the third match on court 1 against either Neslihan Yigit (Turkey) or Pai Yu Po (Chinese Taipei), while her compatriots in Mixed Doubles, Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (3) take the same court later versus either Mario Cuba/Katherine Winder (Peru) or Rodion Kargaev/Ekaterina Bolotova (Russia).
Four-time Men’s Doubles World champion Cai Yun (China) – playing this time with Lu Kai (below) – is due to face India’s Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy in the evening. The all-European Men’s Doubles encounter between Adam Cwalina/Przemyslaw Wacha (Poland) and Andrew Ellis/Peter Mills (England) will be among the second day’s last matches.